European Journal of Food Science and Technology (EJFST)

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Amino and Fatty Acid Composition of Achara (Pennisetum Purpureum) Molded Melon. (Mgbam) Soupmeal


This study investigated the amino and fatty acid composition of Achara(Pennistetum purpureum) with molded egusi / melon (citrilluslanatus) soup meal a typical soup that is mostly consumed in Isiala-ngwa and Umuahia in Abia state and also in some part in Akwa-ibom state. The ingredients used in the soup preparation were melon / egusi seeds (Citrillus lanatus), achara/ elephant grass (Pennistetum purpureum), meat, crayfish, usu, Ukazi (Gnetum africanum), stock fish, snail, pepper, and palm oil and they were purchased at watt market, Calabar. It was an experimental study and the soup was prepared using standardized recipe in Nutrition and Dietetics Laboratory. Amino and fatty acid content of the soup meal were determined using standard methods. The fatty acids composition revealed the predominance of saturated fatty acids; palmitic acids and stearic acid (30.02%) and 27.03%) in the soup meal, and some unsaturated fat such as Poly n-6, and Oleic acid (23.50% and (20.10%) respectively. The Amino acid profile revealed that the soup is rich in protein (essential and non-essential amino acids). The concentration of glutamic acid was seen to be highest (13.63±0.01), followed by Aspartic acid (8.46±0.00), Lysine (6.52±0.01), Leucine (6.36±0.01), glycine (5.81±0.01) and Arginine (5.59±0.00) respectively, Based on the findings it was concluded that the level or amount of saturated fatty acids (palmitic and stearic acids) in the soup meal were high and this can be detrimental to health because saturated fats increases the level of Low density lipoprotein which contributes to the risks of having  heart diseases such as hypertension. It was also discovered that the increase level of the saturated fat in the soup was as a result of the quantity of palm oil and melon used in the preparation. However, the fatty acid component were of plant origin, so are easily broken down. Therefore, it is advisable that a moderate lesser quantity of melon and palm oil should be used in the soup preparation in order to reduce the level of saturated fat. It was also discovered that the amount of amino acid content in the soup was commendable and there was no variation or difference with the concentration of amino acids (essential and nonessential amino acids) in Hen’s egg which is recommended by FAO as a source of complete protein. Hence the soup meal will contribute in alleviating occurrence of diseases related to protein deficiency such as kwashiorkor, marasmus, and protein energy malnutrition to it consumers and likewise contribute in meeting the nutritional requirement of human growth and development

Keywords: Achara, Mgbam, Molded melon, Soup meal

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